Q from a wife!

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jaimes
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 30
   Posted 8/14/2006 10:17 AM (GMT -7)   
 hello!
 
not personally diabetic, i'm the epileptic of the family! lol my husband is type 1. he'd been diagnosed 21 years ago (he's 29.)
 
my question....aside from the odd weirdness as far as low blood sugar, (there were 3 intances last year when he'd changed both shifts and insuline type at the same time and he reacted badly) he's pretty much 'normal'. the only difference i see in him v other people, is he needs to keep his insuline w him and eat regularly. me being the epileptic (uncontrolled) i'm pretty well confused when i hear things about diabetes being life altering. now i understand, there are levels of sickness and afliction, but in terms of hubby, i don't quite understand why he gets upset now and then. in my eyes (and i don't often say it to him, i just let him vent) but i mean, not to make one sound worse than the other, but i've been put off work for years at a go, housebound, hospitalised over and over, tested every which way, i can't be medicated, and i'm not "in control", where i see his problem as afew needles a day and a healthy eating regiment.
 
if it's controlled and it's all but a needle here and there, what's to complain about? honestly, i would love to be diabetic as compared to what i've got! i'd see it as a step up! is there something i'm missing from a diabetics perspective? my husband isn't exactly the talking type, not so good with the explaining of things and feelings! lol so- if i may be so bold as to ask those who'd know....what am i missing? i don't want to be insensitive to him, and this isn't a who's sicker competition, i'm just frustrated with his complaints when i don't much complain about what i see as worse than his situation. i don't know how to comfort him or help him....he leads a normal life. always has. i just don't get it. what's to complain about?

Phishbowl
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 547
   Posted 8/14/2006 12:53 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi, Jaimes,

The one thing I'd like to share with you about being a Type1 Diabetic, speaking from my own personal situation (uncontrolled), is that rarely does a non-Diabetic appreciate the almost constant mental calculations that take place, almost every waking hour of every day, 365 days a year. Accurately balancing insulin with lifestyle (food, exercise, stress, etc.), is more of an art than a science. The mastery of the art comes from the knowledge of how one's own body reacts to certain things (i.e. foods: their portions and combinations). Every day is a new day; meaning it is never exactly the same as the day before. Therefore, understand that although it may look like your hubby is just sticking a needle in himself, many factors and calculations have been considered before he determines how much insulin to inject at mealtime. This is important as even a single unit of too much insulin could cause a hypo (low).

Typically the "moody" times are when I'm low or on a rapid downward spiral. Please know that when a Diabetic is going low, the first thing affected is cognitive abilities; meaning "brain fog", "can't think straight", "indicision", and more. It's the beginning of the body's "fight or flight" response, where adrenaline and such gets quickly released and often comes out as aggression. Our body is panicing and our mind can't think straight or quick enough. Most of my hypos (and I've had/have many), are an automatic response: juice or glucose tabs, whichever is closest.

Sometimes having to do the mental check every couple of hours, every day, no breaks ever... can be exhausting as well as frustrating, especially when you think you are doing everything right but still experience outta-whack blood sugars. Sounds like your hubby may have his sugars under control and Kudos if he does, but don't take for granted that it's not happening without considerable conscientious effort on his part to keep it that way.

BTW...what is hubby actually complaining about?
Cheers,
- Phishbowl (Type 1 since Jan'05 - Levemir, NovoRapid)

"What's Not Measured Is Not Managed"


Pin Cushion
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 442
   Posted 8/14/2006 10:28 PM (GMT -7)   
Well said Phishbowl! Your words are just what I was thinking while reading her post, I was going to reply but you got it for me.
Thanks
Sigmoid Colostomy / Crohns / Type 1 Diabetic / Ostioarthritus / Fibromyalgia / Asthma / High Blood Pressure / High Colesterol / Migraines. Ain't life a joy?



* I think it may be time for a colorful metaphor*


Claire-Bear
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 242
   Posted 8/15/2006 1:49 AM (GMT -7)   

Phishbowl was spot on, but there is also the nagging worry of getting complications.  I was diagnosed 15 years ago, and the first things the nurses told me then were the jobs I wouldn't be able to do and that I'd get a special medal if I managed to live for 50 years!!  (Thankfully things are different now)  Plus, well meaning people (when finding out I have diabetes) kindly saying 'oh, my aunt is diabetic - she had to have her feet ampuated' or the such like! You are always aware that you are diabetic and what complications you can get. And, as you're probably aware, being epileptic, you constantly have the worry that maybe you will pass out (either epileptic seizure, or diabetic hypo) and no-one will be able to help you.

I don't mean to be rude, but it does sound like you are comparing your illness to his and by the simple fact that you say you would love to have diabetes compared to epilepsy kind of shows that.  Try to look from his point of view when he gets upset or angry (this could be from either hypo symptoms or simply that he IS upset or angry) and realise that although diabetes might seem like a breeze compared to what you have, he only knows what it's like being diabetic and that's all he has to go on.  This IS a serious illness and it IS life changing.  I remember Jeannie putting a really good post somewhere about the stages you go through with illness such as grief and denial - I really recommend that you look through previous posts and have a look. Some people deal with it better than others, but just because it looks like someone is doing fine it doesn't mean that they are.  It just sounds like maybe you are dealing with your illness better than he is with his!  Hope it all works out, and I hope it doesn't seem like I'm being harsh to you.

Claire xx


jaimes
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 30
   Posted 8/17/2006 11:50 AM (GMT -7)   
^ no not at all! i wanted honesty! i appreciate it from your perspective. i'm well aware i'm a bistander!
 
thank you all for the replies! and yes, he is *in control* i suppose you could say. aside from afew issues when he switched insuline types and shifts at the same time as i'd said. erm lol i'm aware of what goes on when you go hypo. lol hubby kindly broke 4 of my ribs in 5 places when i was giving him glucose!! he came to just long enough to react and then pass out again! (gel glucose lol i wasn't shoving a tablet into his unconcious mouth!!)
i know- he gets moody when high, and off the wall when low. i can appreciate what he goes through during those times, from the looks of it, it seems much like what preceeds a seizure for me- i get pretty mean/angry over nothing and start reacting more than thinking, and after, i'm completely out of it and tend to take a swing at the first person who comes near me due to the confusion and pain...fight or flight as you'd said.
 
i suppose the constant calculations etc doesn't enter my mind- he *seems* so adapted to it, it never occured to me that it would be an issue. see, hubby, as close as we are and as well as we know eachother, he's not a very expressive person and isn't much of a talker! i'd ask him myself, but from past experience, i know he'll take it as either a nagging type question and get annoyed, or give a very general whatever answer...either way, leaves me as ignorant as before i'd asked!!!
 
as for what he complains about...everything! lol he gets exasperated when he needs to take a shot, annoyed when he needs to bring himself up a bit, frustrated when his blood sugar isn't where it should be (either end hi-ish or low-ish) and of course, i can completely sympathise with the arse pain of cost of meds. granted- he's got me there, i have no expensive equipment to pay for.
 
i suppose i am comparing myself to him in a way. i guess i see it as...if he's low or high or maintaining or whatever- he can adjust it and go about whatever it was he was doing. an inconvenience to be sure, but still i didn't see it as a hinderance. where as...if i'm "off"...well that's it, it's over! for how long...meh time will tell. or maybe i just won't wake up this time.
 
lol to the "well meaning people" who mention the family/friends with diabetes who've had amputations or whatnot! i can relate to that for sure! that...i think no matter what your problem is, is a common bond! i see it as something to laugh at! i've been refused jobs...people actually had the nerve to speak slower/louder when they find out i have epilepsy...as if i'm a complete moron! i can imagine the nonsense people come up with to *relate* or whatever they're trying to do in terms of diabetes. meh...it takes all kinds.
 
may i ask...if you've made it this far into my rambles...i tend not to speak to hubby about this- and frankly, it's better from the horses mouth than researching it in my opinion, but the risk of complications for type 1, controlled guy....healthy other than the obvious and hypothyroidism (he's on meds and that too is controlled) in general- ballpark type %....is it a hit n miss luck thing as far as possibilities of complications, or is it type related....etc?
 
again, thank you for the replies. i can't say as i completely understand his frustration, i don't think i ever will. we're total opposites in terms of nearly everything, i think maybe i can't get into his head that way?  but i'm trying. and i'll definetly have a look see for that older thread you'd mentioned. again, thanks!

Claire-Bear
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 242
   Posted 8/18/2006 2:29 AM (GMT -7)   

Ooh, nasty about the broken ribs.  Ouch.

Well, all I can say is that quite a few men don't speak about the issues that worry them until they have sorted those issues out in their own heads (though I shouldn't make generalisations, it's just men and women often deal with things differently).  It's probably best not to push too much, but to me it sounds like he's a whole lot more upset about the whole diabetes thing than he's letting on, just by the fact that he gets really annoyed over it.  Maybe you can suggest he looks on forums like this for himself?  I know that, before I used the forum, I was starting to get really down and upset about the whole diabetes thing.  When I started using this forum I found it a whole lot more useful and supportive than I realised (my b/f suggested it would be a good idea and at first I didn't think it would be!!)

I don't know what the % chance of him getting complications would be, but I do know the less control you have the more likely you are to get them.  But even with good control he does have a chance of getting complications. 

Everyone here offers lots of support and advice so anytime you need it (or even your husband decides to take a look) we're here!

Claire x


jaimes
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 30
   Posted 8/18/2006 10:05 AM (GMT -7)   
 bugger lol i keep posting new threads instead of replies! lolol
 
 
  yeah- steriotypeing....BUT it's true for a vast many. my husband is the "typical" man! not emotional at all, doesn't talk much, doesn't express anything. i don't push at all....just kinda sit back and watch- offer an ear or a shoulder, perhaps a pick me up...but mainly just let him go at it as he pleases! i've sugested he take a look here, he's not keen. i moderate a forum for another support group and i post in the epilepsy forum here as well- i find venting or even just reading, knowing i'm not alone helps...he doesn't seem to have the urge to connect w anyone about it?
 
meh- the ribs were...a suprise actually lol thought it was work related back pain! low and behold 3 weeks after he socked it to me lol i got afew xrays showing the ribs snapped right where his fist bruise was on my back! well if nothing else, he's got a mean left hook! =) it happens! i know it wasn't him.
 
i suppose all i can do is read up as much as possible and just keep an eye on him...pop in here now and then- say hi and ask afew things! it's just a bit frustrating here, as with most things i can tell by looking at him what he's thinking or where he's at...but with this...not a clue. and i think i find it...erm weird maybe isn't the right word...but i don't have another handy! yeh- weird that after 21 years...the vast part of his life, he's still not just accepted...or seems to not have accepted it. like i'd said- he seems so acustomed to the injections and just taking his pill etc. that i'd think it were second nature- or aught to be by now. but he seems not to have or refuses to accept, that's the way it is? and i suppose i'm guilty of being confused because of the comparison to my problem and the way i deal with my own.
 
=)

Post Edited (jaimes) : 8/18/2006 11:09:37 AM (GMT-6)


dmcT1
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 20
   Posted 8/20/2006 8:15 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello everyone I haven't talked to in such a long time! Sorry 'bout that...

Curious thing that your husband is diabetic and you are epileptic! I've been a type 1 diabetic for 27 of my 30 years, and on two of my last lows different people have called it an epileptic seizure! But that's a different and long story...

Now I perfectly understand your husband's lack of will to connect whith other diabetics. It's teious as Heaven! Most often than not, you don't really wantto talk about something that's on your mind 24 hours/day, 7 days /week and 365 dyas (366 every other 4 years) /year... Yoou want ot connect about other stuff!

Concerning your "comparison", which is as legitimate as any other as your husband seems to not wnat ot talk about it, I think it boils down to this question: What do you think is better/worse: To have a condition you CAN control but then you'll have to do it ALL THE TIME or to have a condition you can NOT control but then again you do NOT need to worry about all the time?
I don't know if this helps you understand how your husband realtes to his diabetes (each person is different), but I hope it does.
Maybe it would help your husband to know how yoo feel about *your own condition*. Might help him talk a little more about his.

Also. many type 1 diabetics tend to develop these two feelings:
1. Feeling dependent - on the insulin, the availability of proper food and... of calculations... No one likes to feel dependent, at least not more than the others. This has a greater cultural weight on men (I know, I'm one!)... When the possibility of making it invisible to others and even to control it exists, it just adds up to the second feeling:
2. Feeling like a "control-freak"... which isn't very cool... If this doesn't seem so important to you, think "itchy"... You really don't want to look like that... Better not even show it to others, specially if what they think matters to us...

Needles are painful not only physically but psychologically as well. They symbolize our dependency, they make our condition visible to others, .. I had a tough time myself with them, but finally got to peace with it... about an year ago! lol And the funny thing is... they became LESS painful, physically!

All-in-all, broken ribs, though "it happens" like you put it, certainly should NOT! I think in a way he kind of owes it to you to share how he feels about his diabetes. So you can know what to do for him and for yourself too. But this is DANGEROUS advice! It can be a dangerous thing to think like this, inside a relationship... But it is, nevertheless true. Though it can bring some nasty feelings out...

I still think a good approach would be to share your condition with him. To let him know how it feels to NOT having a choice of controlling the thing... Hopefully he can give you his perspective on how it feels to be forced to control soemthing... I dunno, just me thinking out loud.

Cheers! Keep the houmour! :D

I am assuming epileptic seizures are NOT predictable in any way. Diabetic ones are (again... if you continuously check for certain kinds of signals, sometimes very subtil, as I almost subconsienciously do.
dmcT1 ~ Born 1976, Type I diabetic since 1979.

Do what you have to and do it smiling if you can... better still: laughing!


jaimes
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 30
   Posted 8/20/2006 8:44 PM (GMT -7)   

^ good reply! cheers!!!

 i do get "warnings" sorta. i have partial seizures i use as an aura....lets me know i'm about to lose it some-time within the next 24 hours!

it happent this weekend. poor hubby.....seriously! i had 9 partials through friday night-neither of us got any sleep, and a tonic seizure saturday night. he keeps telling me it's okay- i keep appologising! i'm positive lack of sleep like that can't be good for him. i nkow what it does to me, and he's the one who's gotta sit and watch me seize and make sure i don't quit breathing for too long.

i know exactly what to do for him--i was mid doing it when he came to confused and reacted- hense the ribs. he doesn't owe me anything. i'm just glad he came out of it. lord knows i've taken afew swings at him when i've been altered after a seizure!!! i can care for him medically, i know the logisitics, it's the wife part...well in combination with the diabetes- plus my epilepsy...lmao and don't laugh, but we have a doggie who in all likelyhood seems to have colitis! lolool so it's more being able to combine caregiver, when i need o be, and balancing my own issues.

i don't think he has anything to worry about- dependance wise,....but i don't have that male brain! he's fully functional, he doesn't miss work, he does what he enjoys, goes where he pleases how he pleases, if anything i'm the dependant one....and unfortunately for me, i'm also the free spirit of the two! lololol ahhh such is life! or control freakness...i *know* that feeling. aside from having an eating disorder for almost 15 years, i also have an issue with the seizures in public, being alone or with too many people bla bla bla! public transport is most days, not possible, but at the same token- hubby isn't one to volunteer a lift or smile about a hand. i walk and bike wherever i go. perfect soap opera scinario eh?! lol meh sounds worse than it is, i'm just trying to say i understand stigma!

not his exactly, but i get it more than anyone should.

the humour...naw, i *AM* humour! gotta keep lookin for the silver lining and lookin back and laughin, otherwise what's the point!

 


Claire-Bear
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 242
   Posted 8/21/2006 2:41 AM (GMT -7)   

Hi Jaimes,

I really love your positive outlook on things, it's really refreshing.

I just have to add - maybe your husband doesn't feel comfortable talking about it to you because he feels that he doesn't want to burden you?  Just a thought...  It sounds like you are both trying to look out for eachother and trying to not worry the other with your concerns for yourselves...

I also think that a lot of diabetics (as well as others with long-running illnesses) go through a period of denial.  They do not want to think about it, and almost push it away from themselves.  That means they don't have to think about it - don't have to accept it.  (I know I went through this too!)

Claire x


Claire-Bear
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 242
   Posted 8/21/2006 2:42 AM (GMT -7)   
Oh as always I missed saying something else - I recently read somewhere that as many as 50% of diabetics have/get depression. Thought that was an interesting point, too.

Jeannie143
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 6056
   Posted 8/21/2006 9:03 AM (GMT -7)   
Nobody brought it up so I might as well... It's also possible that his diabetes is affecting his love life. That can be a huge source of frustration for a guy and really make him feel that the disease is robbing him of a large part of his joy in your marriage. My hubby is pretty healthy, no diabetes or anything but he's over 50 and not batting 1000 in the bedroom anymore. This was a real source of frustration to him until we talked about it and I let him know that this was a natural sign of "not being 17" anymore and excuding other health problems was a normal part of aging. If this is something that your sweetie may possibly be facing a talk with his doctor should take care of some of the fears and problems. He can be checked out and possibly be able to use the newer medications for ED.

I find it rather frustrating that we were all taught about "puberty" in school and how it affected our bodies, our growth, our sex drives, and our ability to procreate.... But nobody thought to clue us all in about NORMAL HUMAN AGING!!! Menopause, benign prostatic hypertrophy, erectile dysfunction, hormonal imbalances... It's a little sad that most of our information comes from TV commercials! We need to keep on learning about our bodies after we leave school so we know what's coming down the road. Just a thought...
~ Jeannie

"People are like stained glass windows: They sparkle and shine when the sun's out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is light within."

- Elizabeth Kubler-Ross


jaimes
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 30
   Posted 8/21/2006 11:05 AM (GMT -7)   
 ^ ooh! lol the ED isn't his! it's mine! and it's not irrectile disfunction, it's Eating Disorder! lol
 
but i definetly did not know that many diabetics suffered from depression....the ED of the manly type- i'm aware of, but *knocks wood*...(pun intended!) meh as of right now...the point is moot w hubby. a healthy 30 year old.....29 actually, he'd faint if he saw i'd put him up to 30! lol =) we'll just have to wait that one out and see what happens later in life.....hopefully...nada!
 
 

Jeannie143
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 6056
   Posted 8/30/2006 9:56 AM (GMT -7)   
Jaimes,
I reposted the 'welcome to newbies' note and you will find the links to accepting loss in it. Hope this helps. Keep up your great outlook.
~ Jeannie

"People are like stained glass windows: They sparkle and shine when the sun's out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is light within."

- Elizabeth Kubler-Ross

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